Recovery of temperature records from slow-growing corals by fine scale sampling of skeletons
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We used laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA ICP-MS) to analyze Sr/Ca ratios in 5 colonies of the Atlantic corals, Diploria labyrinthiformis and Montastrea franski, each growing less than 5 mm yr−1. By targeting the centers of septa we avoided thickening deposits to achieve an analytical sampling resolution of 5-10 days. The sensitivity of Sr/Ca to temperature (−0.096 mmol/mol/°C) is ∼3 times higher than previously reported for these species and equivalent to that exhibited by fast-growing Porites corals from the Indo-Pacific. The Sr/Ca-sea surface temperature (SST) calibrations derived from these corals were not statistically different and were independent of colony growth rate over the period studied. Data from 4 D. labyrinthiformis colonies were pooled to produce a single Sr/Ca-SST calibration with a calculated standard error on the predicted ocean temperature of ±0.51°C. Applying our calibration to Sr/Ca analyses of D. labyrinthiformis skeleton deposited in the late 18th century indicated that average annual sea surface temperatures around Bermuda were ∼1°C cooler than today.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2007. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 34 (2007): L17706, doi:10.1029/2007GL030967.
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